A new 3D project converting Maltese areas into spatial data that can be explored not just virtually or via augmentation but in what is being called “mixed reality” may allow decision-makers to review environmental changes before they happen.
The SIntegraM Project, EU-funded and led by the Planning Authority, will be updating Malta’s basemap, which was last drafted in 1988, with new data and in a modern system.
The new data will be transformed into an environment that people will literally be able to explore and travel through, allowing them to review changes to the environment, and even understand the impact of phenomena like rising sea levels.
You can do this by walking through the appropriately-named CAVE (Computer Automated Virtual Environment).
Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said the system will allow for proposing and monitoring of green infrastructure, as well as aid in enforcement by providing tools to monitor infringements, rural offences and urban abuses.
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi stated the €7 million project is being conducted to gather information in one centralised system, which will facilitate the planning process and gather a more detailed outlook on our environment.
The system will be collecting information from Maltese lands, waters and skies by means of drones so that virtual images of various Maltese sites can be created.
Project leader Ms Ashley Hili said that through this project the Planning Authority aims to develop a national spatial data infrastructure and enhance the capacity of geo-spatial/GIS technology expertise for Malta.
“Since the launch of the Cloudisle Initiative that depicted the first 3D map of the Maltese Islands in 2017, technologies have advanced drastically, and the University has been instrumental in ensuring that this project has tangible goods for society. Through insight and inter-entity collaboration, we have pushed for foresight, and then pushed the envelope for social wellbeing,” said Prof. Saviour Formosa, who conceptualised and drove the SIntegraM project.